Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Same day, two typical Chicago illegal abortion deaths

On November 20, 1925, 23-year-old Mrs. Helen Bain died in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion performed that day. A doctor, George Slater, was arrested on November 21 for Helen's death. Slater was indicted by a grand jury for homicide on May 1, 1928.

The same day Helen Bain died, 29-year-old Anna Kick died in Chicago's Washington Park Hospital from an abortion performed that day at an undisclosed location. The coroner determined that a midwife was responsible for Anna's death, but did not document the midwife's name.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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Anonymous said...

After many years of keeping silent about my own personal experience with not having a choice and with Right- wing conservatives bringing “no choice” politics so much in the media forefront, I am actually feeling horrified,prompting me to speak out openly and I will for sure if mcbush and followers get into office.

When I was sixteen abortion was illegal. I was young and naïve and became pregnant. At sixteen, coming from a very dysfunctional family myself, I still had the common sense to know I was incapable of “providing” in every sense of the word, for another human being. I also got an A in ninth grade Biology that taught me a sperm and an egg united at conception was called a zygote. Thankfully, there was nothing about a soul at conception involved-- in my science book! I did not feel that it was “god’s will” or whatever to plant this seed with a “soul” in me etc. At 16(and always) I lived and believed in reality-- and science.

I felt did not have supportive parents, someone I could turn to and or this fairytale “Juno” situation where I could just go through 9 months and part with a would be at that point human to some family that will live “happily ever after”. Instead I felt my only option was to seek the “underworld” for a then illegal alternative.

I was so young desperate, extremely afraid and had no choice—and still to this day I’m the one suffering from shame because of the stigma put around it from "no rights" people—not unlike a rape victim.

I traveled to Chicago to an address I was given unknowing and desperate. When I arrived at this address, I was carted like cattle with about 8 other women in the same situation to another location. At this location we were blindfolded. Along with other gory details I will spare you, I remember extreme pain and clanging—like silverware (?) I’ll never know. I almost lost my life from infection and hemorrhaging after this and still too afraid to speak up and reveal to anyone what happened. A college campus Free Clinic with no questions asked saved my life.

Many years later I married and with my new husband attempted to create a family together. After a laparoscopic tuboplastic surgery, I underwent another surgery that took over 6 hours to “mend” my damaged fallopian tubes. Then I got pregnant after the first try. Given my medical history at this point we felt like it was a miracle. My husband and I were elated and for the next 6 months our lives revolved around this future new life we were expecting. However within the 6th month of pregnancy- my uterus could not hold the pregnancy, I went into premature labor. My daughter was born too small and too weak to survive. My medical records say that this happened “probably due to a botched abortion”.

That night I stayed in the hospital, in the maternity ward hearing mothers with their healthy newborns’ cries.

I wasn’t the only one weeping with grief—my husband suffered tremendously too and stayed beside me also with empty arms, in the hospital that night and cried with me.

Followers that believe “no rights/no choice” would probably say that it was “god punishing me”-- ironic. So many “holes” with that belief, along with the "soul at conception" fantasy, come to my mind- I could write a book!

Primarily, it is ironic that no rights and no choice is ultimately what took my wanted fully formed human baby’s right to life! Was “god punishing” it too? If so—what for? Plus, I wasn’t the only one who suffered—my whole family grieved as well as my husband and his family—was “god punishing” him and his family too?—If so, what for? The grief and fear of trying, was devastating and eventually destroyed and broke down our marriage which ended in divorce.

To this day I remain childless, thus grandchild less and silent, but now even the breathing of the words of “no choice/ no rights” from McBush and Palin and followers and the possibility of going back to what is in my mind “the dark ages” (and should NOT EVEN be an issue in politics!—especially in this day and age!)— and that which still rips wide open that part of me that grieves because I had no choice,--

-lived through experience of no choice

Christina Dunigan said...

No choice? You chose death for your first child when you could have chosen life. You were able to achieve what you wanted. Your only complaint is that it cost you too much -- a price that you knew full well going into it that you might end up paying.

Nobody was feeding you bland, glib lies about how liberating it was going to be, how safe it was going to be, how compassionate everybody was going to be. Now with your preferred arrangement, women do get the bland, glib lies. And then -- aside from the blindfolds -- they get the same treatment you got. They get a stranger whose name they might never learn doing inexplicable things to their insides with sharp objects, doing permanent and sometimes fatal damage.

No legislator wielding a pen can change what abortion is. It's killing a baby. And that's not a field that attracts the best the medical profession has to offer. It attracts the dregs and the wash-outs and the rumpots. It always has and it always will. But you abortion enthusiasts insist that putting a shiny veneer on it will change what it fundamentally is.

Women trust you and they suffer as you did and get told to shut up and be grateful that their abortions were legal.

Thanks for nothing.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that you know the truth but aren't wanting to feel it. I'm so sorry for you losses. Your aborted baby and your baby lost at 6 months are both tremendous losses and I know the pain. My husband and I have lost many babies and before I met my husband, I chose to abort one. They were all the same. Grief is over a life lost and they were all lives. Please believe that God loves you more than anyone you know and He is available 24/7. Just listen to what He tells you. Not what politicians are saying. I'll be praying for your heart to heal.